Blogger vs. WordPress: the showdown

Just recently I discovered the beauty that is blogging via WordPress, and I was turned in an instant. I have a lot experience with blogging via Google’s Blogger platform, making the most of its features and limitations, but the unlimited amount of options WordPress has to offer is breath-taking. Time for a little showdown, isn’t it? In the left corner: Blogger, in the right: WordPress. Let the games begin!

Easy breezy vs. limitless options

If you’re looking to set up shop in the blink of an eye, opt for Blogger. Its interface is extremely user friendly, there’s a handful of templates to choose from and a million of themes to download online and customize within Blogger. But easy also means limitations, and even though there are a few great resources for making the most out of your Blogger website online, it’s still limited when it comes to widgets.

When it comes to restrictions, a self-hosted WordPress site knows none. There’s a plug-in for literally everything a blogger could ever wish for, from Pinterest widgets over Google Analytics menu’s to lightboxes to view your photos in. Lots and lots of options also requires some kind of knowledge on what goes where – so a bit of HTML or CSS know-how is welcome.

Free vs. Paid

Google’s Blogger is as free as it gets. Sign up, start a blog, choose a name and boom: is yours! However, if you’re looking for a domain name, you’ll have to drop a little cash, let’s say around €10 a year, which is peanuts for your own, unique .com blog. I used to host via GoDaddy, which I can definitely recommend.

To host a site, you’ll need server space, a domain name and Google or another help line to get answers to the questions you’ll undoubtedly have. I relied on my brother Robin to direct the move from Blogger to WordPress. All of my existing content needed to migrate from one server to another, my domain name had to redirect to the new space etc. Warning: this won’t be a smooth ride. I used the Blogger Importer plug-in which did a great job importing my content into the new blog, but I lost a lot of comments and photos still. Because I used to upload all of my images via Photobucket, most of my old posts don’t show the right images anymore. This could be fixed manually, by copying the contents of all of the older posts, and I’m still working on fixing every post – which can be quite the time consuming task after five years of blogging on the old platform.

Oh for the record, there’s also a free WordPress option. This is great to get you familiar with its user interface and post editor and such, but is still limited in regards to templates and such.

Break it down

When rolling with Blogger, the only cost you may have is the yearly purchase of your domain name. This ranges around €10 a year. You might want to address a web designer to create a custom blog layout or google your way to the design of your dreams. This will cost you something, but Blogger designs are usually cheaper than WordPress themes. If you have a bit of HTML knowledge, customizing a layout is fairly simple.

If you’re planning on becoming a WordPress gal, keep in mind that the initial cost is higher. Look for server space and a domain name – I host this blog on Versio, who offer special WordPress packages that guarantee a smooth ride. Prices start around €25 a year, which is very affordable in my book. Click here to check out rates and sign up. Start looking around for a suitable web designer – or contact me, I can hook you up! – and get yourself ready to explore everything has to offer. Because it’s a lot!

If you’re looking to start a blog, I suggest you first think about what you want in both the near future and the long run. A multitude of posts, users and options? Go for a WordPress based blog, which is the best platform for amazing magazine-style themes and templates. If you’re looking for a simpler blog design or if you’re fine with having the limited Blogger widgets, opt for Blogger; by all means, this is a great platform to blog on!

Thinking about moving but you’re still stuck with a thousand questions? Ask them below or drop me an email and I’ll gladly help where possible.

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